With no expectations -at all- I can not say that something disappointed me. What I can tell, are some personal struggles I had which I didn’t expected.
Contact with the outside world
In general, I am not an active social (media) person on the phone. I barely call; answer my messages late or not at all; and check my mail once a week (if I am lucky).
This is why I didn’t expected that I would miss having contact with the outside world. Or more specific: people from back home. Sending a text to my mom; ask advise to my friends; and talk with my brother. Just those small conversations.
It’s hard to imagine living in an area where there is no unlimited wifi access nowadays. Or even.. no wifi at all.
No access during the day; only at night for certain hours. Just to make sure the data will last till the and of the month. And if it didn’t.. too bad. No contact possible.
I dropped my phone in the second week of my stay there. On the floor..
My whole screen was shuttered. This ment that I couldn’t use my phone anymore. At all.
Ok, the camera of this phone had already decided to stop making photos weeks ago, so it was a good moment for a new phone anyway.
So I ordered a new one..
After some lost drop offs and miscommunication, I got that phone three weeks later. Not knowing that you need actual service to sep up your phone!
So new phone, finally a working camera.. but that’s all.
I think this was the reason why I felt a little down towards the ending of my stay; not having ANY contact all.
Your world becomes even smaller then in already was.
Getting more awareness
This limited service, wifi access and road distance makes you really feel that you are in the middle of nowhere. It becomes a reality.
The knowledge of knowing that, if you get bitten by a poiseness snake: you will die. Because of the fact that the closest hospital (which was in Cairns), was too far away to get the medication on time.
This would not happen so quickly. But still, every time I saw a snake -which happened three times- that fact about the hospital came through my mind.
Sometimes -around 4 o’clock in the morning- a satelite in space found his way over the station. One bar of service!
How happy the people were to make a really quick and shitty quality phone call. Standing as high as possible on a chair with the hands -holding their phones- in the air.
But eh, it was something.
Living in the outback -without a lot of contact and influences from the outside world (besides the television)- brings certain thoughts and opinions. I call it small minded, just on the lack of information and experience.
There is racism; there are stereotypes. There are opinions from people you can not have a discussion. The rest simply doesn’t want to change their minds at all.
This is a kind of acceptance which I have learned.
Living in a soap serie
I thought that living in the outback ment a more simpel life. I was not right.
Starting with the work: it never ends.
Days off don’t excist (even the boss never goes on holidays). You are constantly with the same people, which minimalises your social life, but is way more active. Your are almost -never- alone.
It could be intens at times.
Living on a station can make you feel like you are taking part in a reality show. One of the reasons; the talking doesn’t stop. About everything with everyone and; everyone has an opinion about everything.
Changing my mind about old fashioned role models
‘A women belongs in the kitchen while man do the work’
Before I entered Australia, and I heard someone saying this, the hairs on my back went straight up.
But -during my stay at the station- I changed my mind.
Why I hated this saying was because -in my head- it applied that women can’t to anything else and they are weak.
That is what I heard instead. My head changed the words. But while working in this life style, I figured that it does make sense.
It IS hard work in the field.. and someone has to cook.
For the first time in my life I didn’t mind.. I just stay in the kitchen.
This is a kind of life style that not a lot of people get the chance to experience. It’s rare.
A lot of times I had a realisation: ‘I am really doing this’.
‘Cooking in the outback of Australia. I am really living on a cattle station.
I am really living in the outback’.
Before I started my cycle tour -a couple of months before-, I already applied for some stationwork.
For me, this was one of the things I really wanted to see and experience for myself. You can watch a lot of series or movies about it.. but living it.. that felt so unreal.
All the applications (5) got not answered or denied. So I left it.
Never ever, I could have imagine that I got a call -from the former cook- with the question if I wanted to take her job because she was leaving.